When Joe Walsh, from the UK, went to get his medical check done for his work visa when he came to Beijing more than half a year ago, he pleasantly noticed that the process could be quite fast and convenient.
Photo: Alabama Today
With the help of the map on his phone and a passerby, he arrived at the hospital around 8:40 am. He chose to go to the hospital early to avoid long lines and a crowded waiting room.
He quickly filled out a form and had his photo taken before he started the examination. He took the blood test first, followed by an X-ray, electrocardiograph (EKG), weight and height measurement, sight and oral exam, internal organ exam and blood pressure test.
"After I finished my blood test, the doctor in the X-ray room told me to come inside. I did not even have time to put on my coat," he said. "The physical check only took a little more than an hour, unlike what happened to a lot of foreigners who wrote on the Internet that it took them half a day to get the physical check."
Walsh is not the only foreigner who is required to undergo a medical examination in China. According to china-expats.com, a website dedicated to offering advice and resources for foreigners living in China, foreigners need to take a Chinese physical examination for a Chinese work visa, a student visa and a residence visa.
Foreigners generally need to undergo a Chinese medical check to work in China or apply for visas that run for 12 months or more. Photo: IC
When and where?
Foreigners can take their physical examination either before or after they enter China. In China, the exam will cost around $100, according to CUCAS.
If foreigners want to complete the medical examination before they arrive in China, they need to go to a public hospital, undergo a physical examination and have a doctor complete the necessary forms.
They must bring the original medical documents with them when they come to China, if not, they will have to take the physical examination again once they arrive.
However, a lot of foreigners experience problems when they have the medical check in their home country, mainly because the results are usually not presented in the way they are required to be in China, according to china-expats.com.
Based on the information from china-expats.com, a good number of foreigners simply present a home country certificate, which is not enough. What they need to provide is a file with every single result of the required Chinese tests officially identified as belonging to themselves.
If foreigners opt for taking a physical check in China, they need to go to a specified government hospital. The examination nominally takes about 30 minutes, and it often takes three working days to process the certificate, according to china-expats.com.
Not That Scary
Hailing from the US, Adam Johnson, like many of his American friends, considered the medical examination pretty scary, and he does not speak Chinese, which added to his anxiety.
As far as he knew, he did not suffer from serious health issues. But from what he read on the Internet written by other foreigners, he found that he needed to navigate his way to a very specific hospital, find the right building and register for and undergo a lot of tests before returning several days later to pick up the results. He could not help but conclude that getting a medical check could be a daunting experience.
However, when he arrived, he noted that the medical check was not as scary as he thought.
When he entered, he got a ticket and waited his turn until he was called up to begin the examination process.
He felt grateful that he was given a checklist to follow so that he had an idea of which room to enter and what to do next. He had his blood sample taken first and then he was given a test tube to fill up with urine. By the time he had everything signed off on his checklist by the doctors, it was nearly 11:30 am. He gave the paper back to reception, and he was told to return and pick up the results in three days.
Photo: Legal Beagle
Poppy Garcia came to Xi'an, Shaanxi Province from the US several months ago. She underwent a physical check and noted that the process could be quite easy with a Chinese friend by her side.
Although her knowledge of Chinese was limited and she had a bad sense of direction, she did not need to stress out about finding the right hospital, as her Chinese colleague took her there and accompanied her through the process.
"Try to ask a favor of your Chinese colleagues or friends. By doing so, your physical check can be a much easier experience," she said.